I’m going to start today’s post on a slightly different topic — baseball. I expect I have a fair number of solvers who are Nats fans. I’m not. I was rooting for my hometown Cubs. And though I’m happy they won, I’m here to tell you Nats fans: Take heart. That was an incredibly fluky game; any one of those plays could have gone the other way by an inch or two, and there could be a completely different outcome. Plus, as a Cubs fan, I’ve been in that painful situation many, many times. So, I know how you feel, and honestly, I really hope Dusty Baker sticks around and wins it one day; I always thought he got a raw deal after the 2003 NLCS when he was the Cubs manager.

Last week’s puzzle was a movie-related theme . . . and I guess I couldn’t resist, so I did another one. Six movie titles have been “clipped” by one letter:

  • 23A: [Film about Oct. 24, in whichever year?] is ANY GIVEN U.N. DAY, from Any Given Sunday.
  • 34A: [Film about Copenhagen residents living among pack animals?] is DANES WITH WOLVES, from Dances With Wolves.
  • 56A: [Film about taverns where people share tales of woe?] is THE BAD NEWS BARS, from The Bad News Bears.
  • 68A: [Film about in-flight Japanese drinks?] is SAKES ON A PLANE, from Snakes on a Plane.
  • 79A: [Film about a shrub grown by gorillas?] is PLANT OF THE APES, from Planet of the Apes.
  • 101A: [With “The,” film about a British conservative who goes on and on and on?] is NEVER-ENDING TORY, from The NeverEnding Story. Admittedly it’s a bit odd that I clipped the “The” out of this title where it’s there in 56A, but I went for it because this answer made me laugh more than any other. I’m imagining the theme song right now: Never-ending Tooooooryyyy …..

And the revealer at 115A: [Clips found in the special features menu of a DVD . . . and a description of the letters clipped from this puzzle’s movies] is DELETED SCENES, which means I literally deleted the letters S-C-E-N-E-S in order.

Some other clipped titles that I left out: GOODBYE MR. HIPS, LASH OF THE TITANS, THE LAND BEFORE TIM, ENEMY OF THE STAT, and DAD POETS SOCIETY. I only wish I could have inserted some actual movie clips into this puzzle. That’ll happen once I figure out how to make actual moving pictures on paper like they have in the Harry Potter universe.

See you next week!